Questions…

It has been an interesting week. I took the first part of the Dari DLPT, but the system crashed on the second day, so I will have to go back next week to do the reading portion. My Angel has been in a lot of pain, we thought she might be developing appendicitis, but all the blood tests and CT scans have come back negative. My oldest son had his baseball team party and his last game. I’m really proud of how far his skills have come in one season and both my boys are now hooked on America’s game.

In addition, my head has been bursting with ideas and questions from the stuff I have been listening to and reading. Badquaker has been putting out some good stuff, as has the Cowboy Libertarian. Jack Spriko over at thesurvivalpodcast.com has been in excellent form and re-ignited my desire to get into home brewing.

That leaves me with a pile of questions for which I have no answers yet. I’m going to put them here, one so I don’t forget to come back to them and two, in case any of y’all want to ponder them and let me know if you come up with a good answer!

1. Where does nationalism/patriotism end and jingoism begin?

2. Can you have a faith in and dedication to an idea? I know I can have faith/dedication in Christ and develop it in my fellow man, but what about a non-corporeal idea/agreement like a Constitution?

3. What does it mean to be comfortable with a certain amount of moral ambiguity? When do you lose your soul by going along with realpolitik, even to accomplish/protect a noble goal? Can the ends ever truly justify the means?

4. If you have the opportunity to help large groups of people, but less or help individuals deeply…which do you do?

5. Do I dare take the risk of throwing everything I have into building a unique, teaching, example living community?

Just some thoughts running through my head…

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About cptcaveman

An Army Major, my family and I are in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. We enjoy photography, cooking, reading and outdoor sports like hunting, fishing and trapping.
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6 Responses to Questions…

  1. Pathfinder says:

    In the interest of being helpful, I have some definitive answers to your questions! 😀

    1. Where does nationalism/patriotism end and jingoism begin? – Depends. Jingoism is often in the eye of the beholder, and not the jingoist (???). Lefties in particular like to bandy this word about when you refuse to acknowledge that Euro-socialists or commie leaders like Stalin or Mao might be right.

    2. Can you have a faith in and dedication to an idea? I know I can have faith/dedication in Christ and develop it in my fellow man, but what about a non-corporeal idea/agreement like a Constitution? – Absolutely. You used the best example before shifting to the Constitution, which like most man-created things, it is flawed, but I have yet to see something that works as well.

    3. What does it mean to be comfortable with a certain amount of moral ambiguity? When do you lose your soul by going along with realpolitik, even to accomplish/protect a noble goal? Can the ends ever truly justify the means? – Another absolutely. If you understand your foundation, what you believe at your core, then a little moral ambiguity is acceptable if the greater good requires it. The hard part is to maintain that foundation and NOT lose your soul, but keep working toward the original goal.

    As for the ends justifying the means, I would not get into the habit too often, else you may open yourself to being seduced by the darkside. OTOH, John 3:16 tells us that the means of putting yourself in harm’s way and possibly dying is justified if it means others may live, and learn from your example as a shadow of Christ’s example.

    4. If you have the opportunity to help large groups of people, but less or help individuals deeply…which do you do? – Situational, but I think individual deeply. My Mom used to work for CASA, and they use the following story to help people understand why they do what they do.

    A man was walking along a beach, and saw a woman up ahead stopping every few feet, picking something up, and throwing it into the ocean. As the man approached the woman, he asked the woman what she was doing. The woman replied “There was a high tide last night, and I am throwing starfish that were washed ashore back into the water.” The man looked about at the hundreds or thousands of starfish on the beach, and said “But there are so many of them! What could it possibly matter?”

    The woman simply replied, as she threw yet another starfish back into the water “It matters to this one.”

    5. Do I dare take the risk of throwing everything I have into building a unique, teaching, example living community? – Only you can decide this one. If you believe in it, if you believe God has tasked you with a ministry along these lines, then I say go for it. Nothing ventured nothing gained!

    BTW, my younger son finally went to USMC boot on May 8 in San Diego (he enlisted 9/1/10). He graduates 8/5/11 – I plan to be there. 🙂

  2. cptcaveman says:

    Tell him congrats and its only 8 hours south of me, if your coming back north let me know!

    And thanks, these questions have been perculating in my mind for over a year and are not likely to reach a comfort level anytime soon. I feel much like I did back in High School when i was contemplating the morality of taking a life. Eventually I settled that question to my own satisfaction, but it took years. It helps to get different perspectives and I remain open to correction and additional information always.

  3. Pathfinder says:

    I pinged you about him last winter IIRC – he passed his LDAP with something like 136/153 and will be headed to Monterey after boot and MCT.

    As my answer may have indicated, I tend to be fairly highly directed. As a kid I was weak-minded and shiftless, going where the winds blew me. After a HUGE scare in college, I vowed never to be that weak and indecisive again. I have my moments, but basically with my experience in life and work I tend to “feel” decisions quickly, and I am rarely wrong about them – even though it may take others a long time to see the correctness, and in fact it may take a while to be proven correct. As a result, I am spared the agonizing over decisions!!!! 🙂

  4. cptcaveman says:

    LOL…yeah, I do remember. Has he found out his language yet?

    As a Cavalry officer, I dont tend to be the shy and retireing sort myself…what I am learning to be comfortable with about myself is an increasing open-ended examination of my core assumptions. The added responsability that is coming with my new job as a FAO is forcing me to take a more realistic, fact and logic based look at what I believe at both the spiritual and strategic/political levels. This has been a fairly uncomfortable progress as I challenge my own assumptions and core beliefs to insure they stand the test. At this point in my life, I think its absolutely necessary. Thanks for helping me to put that into words…I didnt even realize I needed to express that that way until just now.

  5. Pathfinder says:

    Glad to help! I went through that in a limited way with my being a follower of Jesus Christ a couple of years ago, but that wasn’t voluntary, I was challenged by one of our pastors. That did throw me off balance spiritually for a while, and I am just now regaining my “feet”. Thankfully, work went well and gave me something mundane to steady me as I wrestled with the person I was in Christ, and how to move closer to Him.

    We all go through these periods. There is an interesting book called “When God Interrupts: Finding New Life Through Unwanted Change” by M. Craig Barnes that I found helpful. I haven’t read it in over a decade, so I may disagree with some of it now, but it did help at the time – I was going through a divorce.

    For the record, mine is the kind of job that if I’m wrong, well, nothing really happens. In your world, if you have a bad day, people die. OTOH, if you’re having a really good day, people die too, just the ones pointing their guns AT you instead of away from you!

    Jon gets his language when he shows up in Monterey, or so he told me. Possibly at some point in MCT he will be asked his preferences and then be told what he’ll study. The obvious ones today are Arabic and other languages and dialects from the ME. I’m thinking Chinese and variants would be better long term, but it’s not up to me.

    I just realized I typo’d one of the acronyms in my last post. The test he took was the DLAP – LDAP is an acronym from my world, the IT (computers) world.

  6. cptcaveman says:

    LOL…yeah, I have to watch the acronyms…

    Thanks for the insights, looks like we will be here at least till Nov, so if he needs a place to crash, give him my email and Ill drop him my cell. If nothing else, he can give me a call from the club to come get him if he is short for a cab!

    Dont overlook French. Africa is an up and coming place with all the Chinese interest and its a growing field. also, Africom is in Stuttgart, Germany, not a bad place to live.

    Chinese, Russian, Arabic are all Cat 4 languages, 18 month courses. Dari, Persian, etc are Cat 3, 12 month courses. The latin languages are all 6 months as either Cat 1 or 2.

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